Sept. Existing-Home Sales Down from 4-Year High in August
Oct 23, 2013
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Existing-home sales hit a four-year peak in August 2013, followed by a decline in September 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR's president warned, however, that the recent Washington DC government shutdown could hurt the next month's report.

Total existing-home sales are completed transactions, and include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

September 2013 sales were down 1.9%, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million, from a downwardly revised 5.39 million in August. September 2013 sales remained well above year-ago sales: September 2013 sales were up 10.7% from the pace of 4.78 million units in September 2012.

Sales have been above year-ago levels for the past 27 months.

"Affordability has fallen to a five-year low as home price increases easily outpaced income growth," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Expected rising mortgage interest rates will further lower affordability in upcoming months. Next month we may see some delays associated with the government shutdown."

"Just one impact of the recent government shutdown - delays in tax transcripts needed for approval of mortgage loans - put a monkey wrench in the transaction process and could negatively impact sales closings in next month's report," said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, CA.

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